Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan and Ben Kingsley set for film of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club

<span>Star sleuths … Pierce Brosnan, Ben Kingsley and Helen Mirren.</span><span>Composite: Getty, Rex</span>
Star sleuths … Pierce Brosnan, Ben Kingsley and Helen Mirren.Composite: Getty, Rex

Three of the four leading roles in the film adaptation of Richard Osman’s bestselling mystery book have now been cast, with A-listers Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan and Ben Kingsley set to play septuagenarian sleuths in a retirement community.

Chris Columbus, whose previous credits include Home Alone, Mrs Doubtfire and the first two Harry Potter films, is set to direct.

Osman teased the news on X on Tuesday, writing: “Just been on a call with Amblin, and the cast for #TheThursdayMurderClub movie is insanely great, I think people are going to love it. Official announcements very soon, and can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

The casting was then confirmed by the author and quiz show host on his podcast, The Rest Is Entertainment.

The fastest-selling adult crime debut in recorded history, the novel is set in the fictional Kentish town of Fairhaven and features the four friends solving the murder of a property developer.

It was the subject of a 10-way bidding war before being sold to Penguin for a seven-figure sum in 2019. It sold 45,000 copies in its first three days of release in 2020 and to date the series it spawned – including 2021’s The Man Who Died Twice, 2022’s The Bullet That Missed and 2023’s The Last Devil to Die – have sold more than 10m copies globally.

A fifth book is planned for publication next year.

The movie rights were similarly hotly contested, with Amblin Partners beating off competition from 13 other studios. Three years ago, Mamma Mia! director Ol Parker was attached to the film version, along with Meryl Streep and Viola Davis.

As well as creating and co-presenting BBC One’s Pointless, Osman has hosted Two Tribes and Richard Osman’s House of Games.